Crazy Biking Dutchmen
Cotopaxi Travel Blog› entry 79 of 123 › view all entries
When I checked out the biking tours in Quito and stumbled across Jan's operation, 'Biking Dutchman' (www.bikingdutchman.com), I knew it was the tour for me. Jan has a great enthusiasm for biking and described the tour perfectly....and I was sold. $100 for a two day trip, but it meant an early Sunday morning start, so I was up and 6.30 to get to the Magic Bean cafe for a 7am meet. My group was a small one (as its low season) - Paul (UK, but living on Turks & Caicos) and a dutch/french couple, Harald and Sylvie. Our guide Alberto arrived at 7.30am, bemoaning 'Jan, that crazy dutch b*stard' who had only told him he was leading the tour about an hour earlier.
As we grew closer, the massive form of Volcan Cotapaxi loomed down and we had great views as it was a beautiful clear blue day. We drove into the national park ($10 entrance for foreigners), had a quick look round the museum guided by Alberto to point out where we were going and what we would be seeing. We carried on in the 4x4 up to the first refuge, which is at 4500m altitude - and boy, could you feel it - even walking a few feet uphill was a struggle and there was a huge crosswind that made it difficult to stand up. We unloaded the bikes from the top of the truck and got ourselves ready for the descent - we would be going down the path that the cars and 4x4s take up, so we would have to be careful and concentrate the whole way down.